We’re in Texas! From Hot Springs we headed south to Tyler, TX – the Rose Capital of the U.S. Although we didn’t see any roses in bloom, we did enjoy seeing some big cats, an awesome children’s museum, and a laid back local brewery.
We stayed at Tyler State Park, where we had the campground completely to ourselves. Although it wasn’t a huge park, there were numerous trails that were just the right distance for the kids to enjoy. This had the added benefit of allowing Rick to satisfy his compulsion to complete every mile of trail the park had to offer ::insert eye roll::.
Since we spent almost a full week there, we were able to explore the town of Tyler, which included Tiger Creek, a sanctuary for Big Cats whose owners finally clued into the fact that it wasn’t a great idea to keep a tiger as a pet. Liam and Cora Jean enjoyed getting up close to so many beautiful animals. The cats were all very well cared for in their new home, but hearing their stories was sad and a good reminder to everyone to consider the pets they are thinking about getting and the care they will need (this applies to everything from tigers to tabby cats).
We also checked out the local Children’s Museum, which was a big hit with the kids, particularly the life-size grocery store and café that they were able to play in. The museum also had a model court room that the kids were less interested in, though I caught Rick in it with a nostalgic look in his eye…
After Tyler we headed for a quick stop over in Davy Crockett National Forest, before heading south to the Houston area. The campground was beautiful and spacious and the weather perfect. We passed the weekend away biking around the park, canoeing on the lake, and letting the kids swim at the beach.
Liam continues to meet playmates at the different parks we stop at and has really come out of his shell, feeling comfortable introducing himself and leaving us to go play on his own with his new friends. We’ve really enjoyed watching his confidence grow with each new interaction.